This is my 2nd year competing in the Culpeper Triathlon. I’ve had a tough year for injuries this year, so really had not spent any quality time on the Bike, and had not completed any runs since the Marine Corps 1/2 Marathon. I have been working hard on my swim, so my plan was to have a good swim, and they take it easy on the bike and run.
I started on the front line of my wave, off to the right hand side (shortest line to the first buoy). Usually i hang back a little, since my swimming is not strong yet. This time i went out quite hard, trying to draft a little from the faster swimmers who jumped out in front of me. The water in the lake is dirty – so murky that you can barely see you hands in front of you, so seeing where anyone in front of you is almost impossible. I hit the first buoy in decent shape, but was definitely puffing hard. Since i was on the right at the start, and it was a left turn, i had to take it a little wide. I think i took it out too hard, and felt my form going – i tried had to breath every 2nd stroke because it wasn’t taking it easy.
overall a good swim – 14:39, including walking to the transition mat. My HR out of the water was 183. I really gave it everything i had, and walked to recover on the way to the bike. The time was 2:10 better than the same swim from last year.
not much special here, other than the competitor next to me knocked off my helmet and glasses before i got there. i think i lost 20 seconds finding my glasses. For the 2nd time i had mounted my shoes to the bike (with elastic bands to keep them positioned) so T1 is really easy. dump the swimming gear, on with glasses and helmet and go.
1:57 – slower that i would have liked, but not too bad (2:14 last year) – pretty good considering the time lost to finding my glasses. next time i may put the helmet on the ground, depending on how tightly spaced the bikes are on the rack
my goal was to keep a cadence average of 90 – i think i did well with this. Since i had only had 1 road ride since October last year, i took it easy. I still managed to get around in an ok time (57.12 compared to 56.09 last year), so that is pretty good. I did managed to get a 2:00 drafting penalty. I saw the motor bikes on the course, and i was trying hard not to be too close to those in front, but with so many bikes on the course this was difficult. looks like i will have to try harder next time.
1:14 – pretty decent, nothing much to report. Took my feet out of the shoes on the last downhill before the short uphill into transition. passed a lot of people right at the dismount line. racked the bike and put my shoes on pretty quickly.
took it easy again, legs felt in pretty good shape after a somewhat easy ride. Time was 26:41, pretty good considering i took it easy, and had almost no training. run time from last year was 26:34.
Overall i was very happy – total time (minus the 2:00 penalty) was 1:41:34 – better than last years 1:42:09 even when taking the bike/run easy. hopefully next year i’ll be injury free, and try to get to around 1:30.
The event is a good one, except for the murky water for the swim. The bike course is challenging but not overly difficult. the run is up/down hill, but also a good challenge. I’ll be looking forward to this race again next year.